Man’s best friend + lifesaver to other animals, and a question for you …

Hi, this is Geoff,

To all our friends in North America who celebrated Thanksgiving this week: I pray that your time with family and loved ones was filled with joy, health, and optimism for a beautiful future. Although Thanksgiving isn’t widely celebrated here in Australia, some Australian celebrities around the world decided to do so in their own way.

Time for the Friday Five, let’s jump right in…

From Carbon-Producing to Carbon-Fixing: I’m going to let the title of this article about a project in Kedia, India, do all the work here: “It Takes a Village: How Earthworms, Cattle Sheds and Cow Dung Could Revolutionize Indian Agriculture.” How can I possibly top that? 🙂 Colorful title aside, the project itself is a great example of what is possible moving towards an abundant future.

Alumni Spotlight: Leigh Brown took a course with me 20 years ago in 1996. When she returned to South Africa, she started working on permaculture projects in the toughest of situations and has never let up. I greatly admire her work, chief amongst them is the organization she founded, SEED, whose teachings have reached over 30,000 students. Keep up the great work, Leigh!

Man’s Best Friend, Indeed: All my life I have owned working dogs and could not imagine being on the farm without them. Their faithfulness is just beyond belief and have been part of so many of my adventures, which is why I loved this article from Modern Farmer. More here on the tremendous value of working dogs helping other animals. I train my main herding and guard dog on the smell of the fox from when they are young and I never lose poultry to foxes.

From our community: Two recommendations from members of our Friday Five community: 1) A recently published ebook about “creating incentives to reduce pollution by pricing carbon and other toxic emissions,” by Robert Tanguay, and 2) Eco-Alchemy: Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism, by Harvard Divinity School lecturer Dan McKanan (h/t Joshua Myrvaagnes).

In case you missed it: A few pieces of interest this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute, ably curated by PRI’s editor, Jason Freibergs (thank you, Jason!):

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.  

That’s it for the Friday Five. As always, if you have comment / reactions / a different point of view, please share below.

Cheers, and have a great week,

Your friend,


PS – Permaculture News has about 10,000 articles in its archive. Most people read the recent articles with great interest, but ignore this vast treasure chest of past articles. That is unfortunate because there are some absolute gems in the archive.

So here’s the question I’m hoping you could help me with: If I had a team of editors go through this vast archive and curate the “best of the best” of these articles into 200-300 page collections (such as the “Top 30 Articles on Permaculture News in the Past Decade,” “Top 15 Articles on Composting,” “20 Most Helpful Resources on Passive Solar Design,” etc.) would this be something you would consider purchasing as a Kindle-friendly /iBooks series of ebooks? This would take quite a bit of time and energy to do well, so I don’t want to do it at all unless I get a strong positive reply. If I sense that there is some interest in this, I can have a team of editors get started on it ASAP. Please let me know here in the comments section below whether this interests you, and if so, are there particular collections that you’d like to see us put together?

2017-11-26T01:02:17+00:00 Blog|13 Comments
  • Sharon Hanlon

    Hey Geoff, I’d absolutely be interested in a Kindle “Top 30 Articles on ” and I’d recommend them to others too. Big thumbs up from me! OT – will you be doing the online PDC again in 2018:

    • Bill Crandall-TA

      We’re expecting an announcement for start dates for the next class very soon.

  • Afenbô Communauté

    I find that is a great idea, but why re-invent the wheel?
    meaning the data is already there, why don’t just give members the possibilities to download them for a basic annual fee ?
    Instead of going through them and waste time and energy, one an other will choose there preferred articles. it’s my opinion for sure, but i think it’s a more straight approach.

    And also i’ll take the opportunity to say that we are still waiting for that surprise. that is the opportunity to buy the class materials… like promised.
    Because for me where internet connection is an issue, being able to purchase those valuables is something precious…

    My Regards to Geoff Lawton and The Student Care Team.

    Doucet Fabrice, Afenbô Community

  • That’s would be great !

  • Steve LaValley

    While working on projects, and considering “new employees” orientation, I think it would be marvelous to have such a resource available “in the field”! Especially for composting, and animal care…..some kind of permaculture reference manual with diagrams and step by step instructions would go a long way towards training new people! Thanks for considering such a project!

  • gekko

    I would be interested in some Kindle friendly collections in certain subjects. Definitely.

  • Sarah

    Hi Geoff, I suggest doing a kickstarter campaign to fund the books. Contributors would get a book or collection of books. That way you know if someone is really serious when they say they want it. Otherwise, the tendency is to say, yeah, that would be great, but then not actually buy it when the time comes. I don’t know if I’d decide to purchase the book or spend the time searching through free articles–I started my permaculture education by watching all of your free videos–but with a Kickstarter, it’s paid up front and you don’t have to take the risk of doing all the work and not getting paid. The Kickstarter contributions are proof that people really want the books. Personally, I have a .3-acre suburban yard that’s new to me, so an e-book on converting a suburban yard, or something on fruit trees or rocket mass heaters, would get me to contribute. Lots of love for you. -Sarah, St. Louis, USA.

  • PDC TA – Rasili O’Connor

    Re the last paragraph…I’d certainly purchase it, or them!

    And (off the top of my head), just some “particular collections that you’d like to see us put together” are:

    A collection of Cold Climate stuff.
    A collection of Hot Dry Climate stuff
    A collection of People Care stuff
    A collection of Soil stuff
    A collection of Urban stuff
    A collection of Common ‘Problems’ stuff: e.g. ‘weed barriers’, ‘how to easily deal with Kikuyu’, ‘how to deal with blackberries/brambles’, ‘cape weed solutions’.

    Ps. Could be a perfect thing to direct friends to, knowing they can purchase re specific subject area they’re after (especially if they’re not necessarily going to be doing a PDC…are involved in other things, but keen on knowing solutions, etc).

    • Bonnie Freibergs

      Thank you Rasili 🙂

  • Judi Ramses Nieves

    Very interested.